Violent men and women are treated equally in India. Judges often violate the law and use social and cultural bias in determining whether a female suspect is guilty, as well as sentencing her if she is found guilty.
In such a criminal world, it is important to understand how a woman who violates a woman’s law is treated by the Indian justice system. The Supreme Court of India has ruled that, although sex is not a trivial matter in many parts of the world, in the case of Indian justice, gender is a valid consideration when determining the maximum sentence given to a female criminal.
Aside from the sentencing of women offenders, there is a complex issue to be considered. On the other hand, according to the great powers of discernment given to judges to pass sentence on offenders, if the judiciary looks for certain shortcomings in the life of the offending woman, then there is a high probability that This is evident in the cases of Satni Bai v. State of Madhya Pradesh (Now Chhattisgarh) and Lichhamadevi v. State of Rajasthan. Earlier, the accused was found standing next to the body of his son covered in blood. The Court noted that any normal reaction of a mother would be to become angry and hold the body of her son. Therefore, the applicant’s unusual response was used as a reason to determine his or her involvement in the crime, and he was therefore convicted. In the latter case, the accused defendant was convicted of murdering his daughter-in-law, for he had abused the deceased for lobola, with a sense of ‘self-discipline,’ and ‘violence’, and a ‘housekeeper’ ‘. For this reason, the Court held him guilty.
Thus, we see that the power of the court to decide from time to time can be biased. In such cases, criminal law enforcement is destroyed, because there is no similarity in sentencing patterns in all cases.
Flaws in the system
One side of the problem is the growing number of situations that cause women, in particular, to commit crimes, as well as the many consequences of imprisoning women (especially mothers) in their families. The problem with this second view is that it becomes a much higher standard of criminal justice and sentencing, compared to the intended level of serious criminal justice and the defendant’s previous record.
While looking at the issues of sentencing and comprehensive treatment for female offenders, it is important not to focus only on the human-centered approach to crime. In the first case, the reasons why a person commits a crime are directly related to that person, that is, the problem comes from the perpetrator. In the context of women’s resentment, this means that the woman herself is deviant, and that it is her unthinking attitude, feelings and behaviour that can lead her to commit a crime. In the second case, it is not only the characteristics of the woman, but also the circumstances that have developed as a result of the immediate condition of the particular woman, which leads to sin. This basically means the annoying results from the social, historical and developmental contexts of a woman’s health. Such situations include child abuse, family inefficiency, low income, drug use, etc.
The problem with the two methods above is that they accept the view that blames the victims. They both found the cause of the crime within the woman herself. In addition, these approaches work to create ‘alternatives’ for female offenders, making a distinction between offenders and other segments of the population. Some experts suggest that female offenders are more likely to be treated fairly. Therefore, the question arises as to whether the gender or social outcomes associated with a particular sexuality affect any of the punishable forms of sexual harassment?
It is clear from the analysis of the cases in the High Court that the court considers the various gender factors in deciding to have the case of female suspects in a particular case. Often, court decisions are guided by its concept of gender roles in society. Interestingly, the same concept used by the court to determine a woman’s obligation, to protect a woman from indictment, and to reduce or reduce a woman’s obligation. The reason for this could be one of three – even if the system is very ‘chivalrous’ with women, because it sees them in need of protection (which is considered ineffective, which can make criminal psychological needs, especially horrible); or the system is severely punishable because it treats female offenders as ‘men’; or the program spreads the image of women’s ideology to society.
The principle of splendour of the court is clearly shown in those cases where the court protects a woman from issuing a court order. According to the policy, women are treated as less responsible for their actions, and therefore less guilty. Therefore, women are treated as less of a criminal risk than men and pose less threat to society. Daly argues that the emphasis on professionalism is not limited to the offender, but to the husband and children of the offender. This is evident in the case of Shantabai and Ors. v. State of Maharashtra, where the court did its best to ensure that there was no illegal relationship between the main accused and the deceased. She did this because she saw that she was happily married and lived with her husband and children. Thus, what emerges is that the focus is not on women, but on the need to maintain social cohesion.
Closest to chivalry is the idea of a parental family. According to this view, the concept of chivalry refers to ‘good parents’ and, therefore, to ‘good women’. A woman who does not perform her duties as a parent, or who violates social and cultural norms, is not considered a ‘good woman’. For example, women imprisoned for child abandonment received longer sentences compared to their male counterparts, because such women were considered ‘bad’ mothers.
Female offenders who commit heinous crimes, such as murder, are often viewed as male offenders. The masculinity of a crime committed by a woman thereafter plays a role in the decision-making process of justice. This happens in two ways. A traumatic crime scene may require the establishment of a strong motivation to file a lawsuit, or it may lead to severe punishment. The first is seen in the case of Chinnamma v. State of Kerala, where a court wanted a powerful conviction to allow for the killing of a man by striking the head and burning the body. In relation to the latter, women facing serious cases have received the same treatment as men who have been arrested on similar charges. This is because women have committed a very serious crime, so they are displaying masculine traits in particular. Therefore, they have violated accepted sexual norms, and they are liable for severe punishment.
Too often, judges use sexual fantasies, driven by ancient customs and traditions. Women are often regarded as the cornerstone of the family and especially of society as a whole. In India, in particular, a woman, whether mother, daughter, or wife, is regarded as the custodian of social norms, values, traditions, customs and family unity. A woman is to be humble, to do nothing, to be compassionate and not to give up in order to support the family. She should serve her family and her husband fairly and honestly. Also, the woman should be the primary caregiver and provider of the child emotional support.
The fact that some judges with this bias try to figure out what kind of relationship between crime and crime also plays a small role here. In the case of Smt. Paniben v. State of Gujarat, where a woman burned her daughter-in-law alive by throwing paraffin and lighting it, the court ruled that even the mother who was with her did not stop her from committing the act, that it is unfortunate that a woman should kill another woman in this way.
One of the reasons why gender roles are being considered by law enforcement agencies is that there could be serious consequences for the arrest of women and child offenders. Extensive research has been done on the effects of the arrest of a woman with children on her own. The results are particularly noticeable for those children who travel with their mother to prison. One of the consequences is that the child becomes an ‘innocent victim’ who is punished by the arrest of a parent who may be the sole guardian of the child.
Government case through S.P., CBI / SIT v. Nalini and Ors. differs from the above examples in that, in it, the court uses sexual superstition as a means of mitigation. The appellate judge on the death sentence, Justice Thomas, noted that because he was a ‘weaker’ person, he could not escape the conspiracy of the accused. In addition, her execution would lead to the orphanhood of her baby girl, who was born in prison.
Much of the evidence gathered over the years indicates that the roles of women and their positions have not changed much in recent years, especially in the area that may lead to changes in women’s crime. This argument is important because it emphasizes that gender equality in crime is due to contact with people and the likelihood of cases of alleged sexual misconduct. As women’s roles change and become more open to the opportunities and conflicts associated with men’s roles, their criminal activities will be transformed by grace and merit.
The basic framework of our legal system has also been based on the basic concept of ‘equality’ and in such a case, it is very important to achieve gender equality by addressing the challenges of men and women. It is high time that cases under the Act are reviewed and submitted in accordance with current public standards. It is fair to say that in a country like India, where the right to equality forms one of the fundamental principles of the Indian Constitution, men and women should be treated equally and that such crimes should be gender neutral and protect men women as enshrined in Article 15.
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- Gender gaps and women’s Empowerment in India -issues and strategies